ThinKom’s ThinAir family now has a new kid brother. The company formally launched the ThinAir Ka1717 offering this week, offering a smaller, lighter solution targeting the regional jet market.
Until now, it has been impractical for regional jet operators to offer their passengers the same level of in-flight connectivity experience as larger passenger jets, mostly because of the size, weight and drag of existing aero antenna systems. The Ka1717 addresses this need with an antenna system that is the ideal form factor for regional jets, designed to operate on any Ka-band constellation the customer chooses and is based on ThinKom’s existing, highly reliable and efficient VICTS antenna designs.– Bill Milroy, CTO and chairman of ThinKom Solutions
Moreover, the company is collaborating with Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT) on development and certification of a fully integrated Ka1717 package. This includes not just the antenna panels, but also the radome, adapter plate, fairing, power supply, connecting cables and installation kits for the regional jet market. The full satcom system, including installation hardware, connecting cables, and in-cabin networking equipment, will be comfortably below 160 pounds (73 kg), and just 6 inches high off the fuselage.
The integration with CarliseIT is further optimized for the regional jet market by integrating the Ka antenna networking data unit (KANDU) and the Ka radio frequency unit (KRFU) functionality inside the crown-mounted radome to accommodate in-cabin space limitations of the smaller aircraft.
Chris Rawley, CarlisleIT product line manager for connectivity, believes the solution opens a significant segment for the companies, with a smaller system that retains the performance benefits of the ThinAir product line. “The Ka1717 form factor has enabled CarlisleIT to optimize the installation footprint for the narrower fuselages of regional aircraft. This supports a dorsal mounted SATCOM solution without the typical drag penalties of larger antennas.”
Moreover, the system’s low power draw ensures gate-to-gate operation, even under conditions of high thermal and solar loading.
The announcement comes as airlines consider improved in-flight connectivity solutions for hundreds of aircraft in the US.
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More ThinKom ThinAir news:
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- Spirit Airlines completes A320 WiFi installs
- Panasonic picks ThinKom for next gen antenna solution
- Gilat’s ESA shows promise with successful Ka-band test
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